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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Penguin Popular Classics) [Paperback]

Mark Twain
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 4.7 out of 5 stars (41)
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Book Description

25 Jan 2007 Penguin Popular Classics
From the famous episodes of the whitewashed fence and the ordeal in the cave to the trial of Injun Joe, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is redolent of life in the Mississippi River towns in which Twain spent his own youth. A somber undercurrent flows through the high humor and unabashed nostalgia of the novel, however, for beneath the innocence of childhood lie the inequities of adult reality—base emotions and superstitions, murder and revenge, starvation and slavery

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (25 Jan 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140620524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140620528
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Twain is the pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 - 1910). He was born and brought up in the American state of Missouri and, because of his father's death, he left school to earn his living when he was only twelve. He was a great adventurer and travelled round America as a printer; prospected for gold and set off for South America to earn his fortune. He returned to become a steam-boat pilot on the Mississippi River, close to where he had grown up. The Civil War put an end to steam-boating and Clemens briefly joined the Confederate army - although the rest of his family were Unionists! He had already tried his hand at newspaper reporting and now became a successful journalist. He started to use the alias Mark Twain during the Civil War and it was under this pen name that he became a famous travel writer. He took the name from his steam-boat days - it was the river pilots' cry to let their men know that the water was two fathoms deep.

Mark Twain was always nostalgic about his childhood and in 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was published, based on his own experiences. The book was soon recognised as a work of genius and eight years later the sequel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was published. The great writer Ernest Hemingway claimed that 'All modern literature stems from this one book.'

Mark Twain was soon famous all over the world. He made a fortune from writing and lost it on a typesetter he invented. He then made another fortune and lost it on a bad investment. He was an impulsive, hot-tempered man but was also quite sentimental and superstitious. He was born when Halley's Comet was passing the Earth and always believed he would die when it returned - this is exactly what happened.

Product Description


"Twain had a greater effect than any other writer on the evolution of American prose." "From the Trade Paperback edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The classic boy-hero of American literature --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic 5 Jan 2008
By BizLiz
For some reason I decided to re-read this over Christmas (I hadn't read it since I was at school) and I'm so glad I did because it was much more fun and far more interesting and perceptive than I remembered.

It draws a picture of a time and place I know little about but seemed utterly convincing and I was really struck by the amount of superstition the characters in the book displayed - adults as well as children. Parts of it reminded me of my own childhood (in Essex - a long way from the Mississippi!), parts of it were very touching and parts of it were laugh out loud funny.

It's a gentle read, and the writing is both stylish and wry. I'm going to re-read Huck Finn as soon as I get time!
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Growing into a Man 13 May 2004
Tom Sawyer is the first great coming of age American novel. In addition, Tom Sawyer is one of the most endearing characters in American fiction. This wonderful book deals with all the challenges that any young person faces, and resolves them in exciting and unusual ways.
Like many young people, Tom would rather be having fun than going to school and church. This desire to enjoy life is always getting him into trouble, from which he finds unusual and imaginative solutions. One of the great scenes in this book has Tom persuading his friends to help him whitewash a fence by making them think that nothing could be finer than doing his punishment for playing hooky from school. When I first read this story, it opened up my mind to the potential power of persuasion.
Tom also is given up for dead and has the unusual experience of watching his own funeral and hearing what people really thought of him. That's something we all should be able to do. By imagining what people will say at our funeral, we can help establish the purpose of our own lives. Mark Twain has given us a powerful tool for self-examination in this wonderful sequence.
Tom and Huck Finn also witness a murder, and have to decide how to handle the fact that they were not supposed to be there and their fear of retribution from the murderer, Injun Joe.
Girls are a part of Tom's life, and Becky Thatcher and he have a remarkable adventure in a cave with Injun Joe. Any young person will remember the excitement of being near someone they cared about alone in this vignette.
Tom stands for the freedom that the American frontier offered to everyone. His aunt Polly represents the civilizing influence of adults and towns. Twain sets up a rewarding novel that makes us rethink the advantages of both freedom and civilization. In this day of the Internet frontier, this story can still provide valuable lessons about listening to our inner selves and acting on what they have to say. Enjoy looking for fun in new ways!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that would be enjoyed by everyone 21 July 2005
This is an enjoyable book with language used by olden day children, which gives excellent effect. It has thrilling and exciting chapters and adventures which are sometimes funny, strange or even scary. Mark Twain used a lot of adjectives to describe scenes, settings and characters. Something like "In a DREARY mood". He made the book Adventurous, Funny and Legendary. The characters in the book are well described and sounded really interesting. Mark Twain also used strong verbs and adverbs to make the story come to life. I think a lot of people would enjoy reading it.
I would recommend that children aged 10-13 to read this book. However people younger or older can as easily enjoy it as much as anyone else.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oneworld Classics edition 3 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a good edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, then you could do a lot worse than the Oneworld Classics edition (Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The (Oneworld Classics)), of which this is a review. The book has been attractively designed and the paper is of good quality. Instead of overloading the text with distracting annotations, there are only a small number of notes (nineteen in all, each marked in the text by an asterisk) which serve to explain unfamiliar phrases, such as 'tree box', 'spunk water' and 'the balm of Gilead'. The volume begins with a couple of pages of photos of Twain and the homes where he lived, and a couple of pages reproducing the chapter openings from the first (illustrated) edition of Tom Sawyer. Instead of an introduction, Oneworld Classics have wisely opted for a section of Extra Material at the end of the book: a life of Twain (sufficiently detailed to be informative without being overlong), a brief guide to Mark Twain's works and a very short Bibliography.

Concerning the work itself, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an absolute classic; Twain displays throughout a wonderfully dry sense of humour and a vividness in his characterisation, all of which make for highly amusing and memorable scenes. Tom Sawyer may lack the sheer heart-stopping grandeur that is Huckleberry Finn (Oneworld Classics), but as a portrait of a lost boyhood, at once satirical and affectionate, it is surely without peer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Value 23 Nov 2009
A Classic volume suitable for boys. Bought for my Grandson.
Incredible value for a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story of youth 17 Aug 2009
Mark Twain was a great writer, plain and simple. It's been a while since I read his other great book, where Hucklebery Finn is the main protagonist, and I seem to remember liking that one better, but this one is also very good, and lacks nothing, in and of itself. I would disagree with anyone who would argue that this book is mostly for children, because I don't think that a child would appreciate it as much as an adult would. Mark Twain seemed to know people very well, and his insight shines through in almost every character and action in the book. He portrays children as childen are, even today, and that is not as easy as it sounds, when most of us have lost the ability to remember what we were like at that magical age. He also had a great imagination, and even though it can sometimes be difficult to picture certain scenes, because of the setting and unfamiliar names of things, his descriptions are still vivid and well-written. He reminds me a bit of Dickens at times, in his style, but I consider him more intelligent and more perspicacious than Dickens, while meaning no disrespect towards the latter, whom I have always enjoyed. Twain was both intelligent and light-hearted, and that's why his books are both enjoyable and refreshing. This book is a classic, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great literature
I read this book (and naturally Huck Finn's adventures too) in a German translation, when I was a child. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Hans-Ulrich Buehler
5.0 out of 5 stars the adventure of tom sawyer
I love this book. A return to a younger life, more ejoyable a second time time round and from a different prospective.
Published 17 days ago by hazel chamberlin
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. C. Callaghan
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful view into the mind of growing kids!
This is a really wonderful read. The fact that I need to say that is based on my experiences of other classics, which I have often found disappointing! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stewart M
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for children from 9 to 90
A re-read of a childhood favourite. You don't realise how far we have come regarding wealth and race until you read something like this.
Published 6 months ago by Alan Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars Long lost youth!
It's years since I read this book (and I mean YEARS!) but, it still enthralled me. Samuel Langhorne Clemens is a master at understanding young people and their unhindered view on... Read more
Published 8 months ago by D. P. Hardy
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read
I bought this for someone who had read it years ago and hope they enjoy it just as much today.
Published 8 months ago by coco
5.0 out of 5 stars A glittering hero...
Set in Missouri sometime around the 1830s, Twain gives us a joyous romp through the lives of some of the boys, and even a couple of the pesky girls, growing up in the small town of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by FictionFan
5.0 out of 5 stars Reasons for enjoying Tom sawyer
I wanted to reread Tom sawyer having not read it since childhood. I am a pensioner and having audiobooksvas well as ordinary is helpful, and this particular one was very good.
Published 10 months ago by Irving
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling! The most wonderful read for boys
One of the most wonderful descriptions in literature is the incident of Tom's managing to get out of the punishment of whitewashing the wall. Very exciting throughout.
Published 10 months ago by Monasofia Bookworm
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